Newborn hearing screening a money saver for society

Society makes long term gains in more than human terms when all newborns are screened for hearing loss and other hearing disorders. It saves money, too.

A study published in the journal Pediatrics showed that the monetary gains from universal newborn hearing screening outweigh the cost because more children receive timely treatment.

The calculations of the researchers are based on United States data. They show that the savings to the American society from 100 percent universal hearing screening of all newborns in any given year amount to US$2.33 billion. This compares to savings of $1.46 billion when only newborns deemed to be at risk for hearing loss are screened in a selective screening program.

From the newborn baby to a teenager and from a teenger to an adult. The problem of hearing plays a major role in social gatherings, cognitive development, and an active lifestyle. Therefore, our societies can provide a larger  economic and social contribution by investing in proper hearing care sector and by enhancing the hearing aid technology.

In a child life development of adequate hearing plays a crucial role. If in case during this development period hearing rehabilitation had not being provided properly. Then,it will lead to the cause of hearing impairment in a kid’s life. This is the main reason behind applying  Newborn Hearing Screening for our loved ones.

Better speech development:

The gains from screening of newborns are tied to their speech development. When a hearing loss is detected and treated early, the children have a much improved chance of developing normal speech. This results in a reduction of cost for special education and, later in life, for lost or reduced productivity.

The study indicated that universal newborn hearing screening increases the chance for hearing impaired children developing normal speech by 23 percent. Universal screening results in early identification of hearing loss before the age of 6 months in three times as many children as would be identified with no universal screening program.

Unnecessary distress:

Screening of all newborns was found to have some drawbacks, as well. Some parents may be told mistakenly that their children have hearing loss. Even if a faulty diagnosis is corrected at follow-up examinations, the early misdiagnosis may cause unnecessary distress for the parents.

Cost of hearing screening:

The costs involved in the hearing screening of infants are very small. In fact, the costs to society and individuals of not screening may be much higher.

According to Lynn Spivak, PhD, as cited in the November 2000 issue of The Hearing Journal, the price of screening an infant ranges from $17 to $33. The most expensive part of the screening is personnel costs. While expenses for equipment and materials are almost the same in all hospitals, personnel costs often differ depending on the qualifications of the hospital staff and on the local wage level.

To get a true picture of the costs involved in hearing screening it is important to include the costs of re-screening. The total cost per infant then rises to approx. $30, Lynn Spivak says. Therefore, the more effective the first hearing screening is, the fewer the number of infants requiring re-screening and thus the overall expenses are reduced.

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